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T-bone's turn

by Kyler Laird last modified 2008-10-11 13:07

T-bone joins me at the farm.

date: 2008-10-09 (3389 days ago)

dogs: Crockett, GP, Peyton, T-bone/Tiburon/Tibby

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I've been trying to avoid T-bone for awhile. He's been wearing an e-collar while he recovers from his surgery a week ago. I decided he needed some attention though and he should be pretty well healed by now. It was his day to go to the farm with me.

T-bone gets so excited whenever I see him. He often jumps on me so I try to maintain tight control of his collar when I greet him. I let him out for awhile and then we dropped Kitty at home and headed to the farm. T-bone behaved well enough in the car but he was panting hard the whole way. When we arrived at the farm I tethered him to me and started checking the semi. I wasn't paying much attention to T-bone but soon he was loose and running with Dad's dog. I still don't know how he became unclipped but as soon as I realized it I ran for the big open doors. I had one closed when I saw T-bone running toward the other door. I ran toward him, hoping he'd duck back in the barn but he scooted right by me and started zipping around the houses.

Ug. Not a good way to start the (late) day. I decided to continue preparing the semi because I knew I couldn't catch T-bone and I figured he needed some exercise anyway. As I backed out of the barn I saw the dogs zip past and was grateful that they hadn't headed for the fields or woods. I pulled behind the house and got the attention of Dad's dog. As I gave him a treat T-bone nosed between us and I calmly grabbed him while producing another treat. One more treat and he was in the semi.

When we got to the field a smaller truck was already full so we took it to town. T-bone continued his panting the whole way but seemed alright otherwise. I took him inside to grab our receipt and he was pulling like mad. He wouldn't jump in the truck so I had to help him again but he always backs away when I try to lift him. He's fine when I finally get him but he's not comfortable before that.

We took another small truck and then the combines moved to a new field. We followed with the semi and I got to sit in back with T-bone while I did some work. He continued to pant and he was a little restless but still well-behaved. It was quite a contrast to how GP just stretched out next to me and slept.

The combines opened the next field and then headed for home. The semi still wasn't full but it was too late to take a load into town anyway. We put the semi back in the barn and headed for home. I thought T-bone might relax a few times but he always came right back up.

At the kennel I put T-bone in his run and fed him then released the other dogs. GP and Peyton got to run loose but I kept Crockett tethered to me. Crockett is still growly with the other dogs when they get in his face and he pulls hard so I just held his collar. Outside Peyton zoomed while GP wandered. GP made several passes at us and Crockett wasn't being too growly. I was trying to use a lesson I learned at the Pam Reid seminar; instead of just addressing the behavior I want changed I've been trying to change the dogs' emotions. Even when they're growling at each other I try to stay jolly and continue to massage both dogs. It seems to work well. After awhile I decided to switch Crockett for GP.

Peyton is so active that I worried he'd trigger a response from Crockett but instead they had a wonderful time. I was thrilled to see them running figure eights around the yard. They had a glorious time with no altercations and oh, did they ever run. Crockett came zipping by GP and me several times but got no response. GP was enjoying leaning into me and getting massaged so much that he seemed disinterested in the other dogs. I had no problem handling all three dogs in close contact at once.

I eventually released GP but he mostly remained next to me. He started playing with me a few times. Each time, as soon as I'd react and return his play bow Crockett would come through and slam into GP. I thought it would trigger a fight the first time but they showed no interest. I wonder if it's because GP was having such fun with me? Shortly after that we returned to the kennel. What a great bunch of dogs.

I put Crockett away but Peyton and GP were still running around. Eventually Peyton came to me and went in his run but GP wanted to play. Fine, I allowed GP to be free while I took T-bone out once more but then GP came bounding over and the two had a spat. I'm not even sure what happened but it was more flash than bang. I grabbed both dogs and put them in their runs. I was done, a sour end note but still a good night with happy dogs.


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